Subcontractors and Quantity Surveying

Subcontractors and quantity surveyors play vital roles in the construction industry. Subcontractors are responsible for performing specific tasks on a construction project, such as electrical work, plumbing, HVAC, and carpentry. Quantity surveyors estimate the cost of subcontracted work, prepare subcontracts, and manage subcontract payments.

Surveying Contracts

A surveying contract is a legally binding agreement between a surveyor and a client. The contract should outline the scope of work to be performed, the timeline for completion, and the fees to be paid. It is important to have a clear and concise contract in place to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes down the road.

Here are some of the key elements of a surveying contract:

Scope of work: The scope of work should clearly define the services that the surveyor will be providing. This may include tasks such as site inspections, quantity take-offs, and cost estimates.

Timeline: The contract should specify a timeline for the completion of the work. This is important to ensure that the project stays on track and within budget.

Fees: The contract should outline the fees that will be charged for the surveyor's services. This may be a fixed fee, a percentage of the project cost, or a combination of both.

Dispute resolution: The contract should include a dispute resolution clause in case any disagreements arise between the surveyor and the client. This clause should outline the steps that will be taken to resolve the dispute.

plans document

Building subcontractors are specialised contractors who are hired by a general contractor to perform specific tasks on a construction project. Subcontractors can be hired for a variety of tasks, such as electrical work, plumbing, HVAC, and carpentry.When selecting subcontractors, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Experience:The subcontractor should have experience in performing the tasks that you need them to complete.
  • Qualifications: The subcontractor should have the necessary qualifications and licenses to perform the work.
  • References: Ask for references from previous clients and check them thoroughly.
  • Price: Get quotes from multiple subcontractors before making a decision.

Subcontractors should be included in the overall project plan and budget. It is important to communicate with subcontractors regularly and to provide them with clear instructions. Subcontractors should also be held accountable for their work and for meeting deadlines.

The Role of Quantity Surveyors in Subcontracting

Quantity surveyors play an important role in the subcontracting process. They are responsible for:

  • Estimating the cost of subcontracted work: Quantity surveyors use their knowledge of the construction industry to estimate the cost of subcontracted work. This helps general contractors to budget for their projects and to ensure that they are getting a fair price from subcontractors.
  • Preparing subcontracts: Quantity surveyors can help general contractors to prepare subcontracts. Subcontracts should clearly outline the scope of work to be performed, the timeline for completion, and the fees to be paid.
  • Managing subcontractor payments: Quantity surveyors can help general contractors to manage subcontract payments. This includes reviewing invoices, processing payments, and resolving any disputes.

Benefits of Using HJH Commercial for Surveying Contracts and Subcontracting

HJH Commercial is a leading provider of surveying contracts and subcontracting services. We have a team of experienced and qualified professionals who can help you with all aspects of these processes.

Here are some of the benefits of using HJH Commercial:

  • Expertise: We have a deep understanding of the construction industry and we are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality of service.
  • Attention to detail: We take the time to carefully understand your needs and to develop customized solutions.
  • Communication: We keep you informed of our progress throughout the project and we are always available to answer your questions.
  • Peace of mind: We work hard to ensure that your project is completed on time and within budget.


Subcontractors and quantity surveyors play vital roles in the construction industry. HJH Commercial is a leading provider of surveying contracts and subcontracting services. We have a team of experienced and qualified professionals who can help you with all aspects of these processes.

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frequently asked Questions

Our team of experienced quantity surveyors is dedicated to providing accurate and reliable cost management solutions for your projects. We know that navigating the intricacies of construction expenses can be overwhelming, so we're here to support you and the process.

Browse through our FAQ section to find answers to common queries, ranging from what a quantity surveyor does, to how we can optimize your project's budget and ensure its success. We're committed to transparency and clarity, so if you can't find the information you're looking for, don't hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

What is a Quantity Surveyor?

A Quantity Surveyor is a professional in the construction industry who focuses on managing costs, contracts, and ensuring value for money in construction and infrastructure projects.

What is the primary role of a Quantity Surveyor in a construction project?

Their main role is to manage and control the costs of a construction project, from initial estimates through to the final accounts. They also handle contractual matters and ensure value for money.

What is a Bill of Quantities (BoQ) & Activity Schedule?

Bill of Quantities is a detailed document in construction and procurement that lists the quantities, descriptions, and estimated costs of materials, labour, and services required for a project. It provides a clear breakdown for pricing and bidding purposes.

Activity Schedule, on the other hand, is a timeline that outlines the sequence of tasks, their start and finish dates, and dependencies within a project. It helps in project planning and management by organising the work into specific activities. Both documents aid in cost estimation, resource allocation, and project scheduling for effective execution.

When should I engage a Quantity Surveyor for my project?

It's best to involve a QS at the earliest stages of your project. Early involvement can ensure a more accurate budget estimate and more effective financial management throughout the project.

Are Quantity Surveyors only involved in large-scale projects?

No. While QS are often associated with large projects, their expertise can be valuable for projects of any size, providing cost management and contractual advice.

Can a Quantity Surveyor assist with dispute resolution?

Yes. QS have expertise in contractual matters and can offer advice or act as mediators in disputes over project costs, variations, or other contractual issues.

Is it compulsory to have a Quantity Surveyor for construction projects?

It's not always compulsory, but having a QS ensures costs are effectively managed and the project remains on budget. In certain contracts or regions, it might be a requirement.

What is the difference between the NEC, JCT and FIDIC and other forms of contract

NEC, JCT, and FIDIC are all standard types of construction contracts used in the infrastructure  industry. They each have their own distinct characteristics and are designed to serve different purposes. Here's an overview of the differences between these three and other contract types:

NEC (New Engineering Contract):
Focus: NEC contracts highlight collaboration, flexibility, and risk-sharing between parties.
Management: NEC contracts place a strong emphasis on project management, with clear roles and responsibilities for each party. The Project Manager (PM) has a central role in administering the contract.
Risk Allocation: The party best equipped to manage a particular risk is assigned that risk under NEC contracts. The contract promotes early identification and resolution of issues.
Compensation: Payment mechanisms are based on defined costs, target costs, and gain/pain share mechanisms.
Time Management: NEC contracts use a "compensation event" mechanism to manage changes and delays.
Versions: NEC3 and NEC4 are the two most commonly used editions of NEC contracts.

JCT (Joint Contracts Tribunal):
Focus: JCT contracts provide a balanced approach to allocating risk between parties.
Tradition: JCT contracts have a long history and are widely used in the UK construction industry.
Varieties: There are various types of JCT contracts available for different project types and procurement methods.
Payment: JCT contracts typically include interim payments and final payments based on defined project stages.
Dispute Resolution: JCT contracts often include mechanisms for resolving disputes, such as adjudication, arbitration, or legal action.
Types: Examples include JCT Standard Building Contract, JCT Design and Build Contract, and more.

FIDIC (Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Conseils):
International: FIDIC contracts are commonly used for international building projects and are sometimes called the "Rainbow Suite" due to their various contract types represented by different colors.
Risk Sharing: FIDIC contracts aim to strike a balance between the interests of parties and include provisions for sharing risks.
Editions: FIDIC contracts come in different editions and contract types, such as Red Book (Construction), Yellow Book (Plant and Design-Build), Silver Book (EPC/Turnkey), etc.
Dispute Avoidance: FIDIC contracts emphasize avoiding disputes through mechanisms like the Engineer's role in decision-making and dispute resolution boards.
Types: Different FIDIC editions suit different project types and delivery methods.

Other types of contracts:
ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers): Frequently used for civil engineering projects.
PPC (Project Partnering Contract): Stresses collaboration and long-term relationships.
ACA (Association of Consultant Architects): Tailored for architectural and design-related contracts.